How do disrespectful kids become so mouthy? How do parents feel when a child insults them? Look inside to find out what you can do to change this kind of disrespect.

Disrespect is like wearing muddy clothes. It’s sticky, nasty, and dirty. Like mud you don’t feel good until you clean up the tone and the words.
Ask yourself, “Where did my child learn such disrespect?” If the answer is “me,” please don’t run away. Everyone understands how angry a parent can get. Let’s come up with ways to change your anger and model better behavior. But first a story -

The Story of Disrespect:

Picture this. You just told your Maggie she can’t spend the night at her friend’s house. Maggie yells, “You never let me do anything. I can’t stand you!” Her tight red face tells you she’s ready to explode.

If you’re like most parents, your blood boils. You may find yourself shouting louder than Maggie, “You ungrateful little brat!” You try to stop your over-reacting but it’s too late. For the moment, blowing your top feels good.

Later, you regret your reaction. You made yourself look bad and you know it. Maggie’s disrespect for you deepens. What can you do?

First Parenting Tip for Handling Disrespect and Building Character:

Accept responsibility for your behavior - Stop saying, “I can’t help my temper. That’s the way I am.”

Making excuses frees you from trying. Excuses insure that you and Maggie will keep erupting. The disrespect will even get worse.

Second Parenting Tip for Fighting Disrespect and Building Character:

Become rational - Make a commitment to talk and act with reason. Slow down. Walk away. Count to 10. Ask yourself, “How do I want to act in this situation?” Picture yourself clearly. See yourself modeling the respect you want from Maggie. Promise not to sink to Maggie’s level.

Third Parenting Tip for Changing Disrespect and Building Character:

Practice the 21 Day Solution – Before you fall asleep at night and before you get out of bed in the morning, see Maggie’s angry face. Make sure your picture is clear. Then feel and act respectful in spite of her anger. Tell yourself, “I am a respectful parent.” Melt the picture, the respectful feeling, and the words into one powerful affirmation. See it. Sense it and say it all to yourself at one time.

Practice this method for 21 days morning and night. You’ll be using your free will and reason. They are your gifts for making the changes you need. Enjoy the experience.

Conclusion for Building Character with Disrespectful Kids:

Start with yourself. Accept responsibility for your behavior. Make a commitment to talk and act with reason. Practice the 21-day solution.

To those who say, “This is silly. I’ll yell if I want to. I want Maggie to know how mad she makes me,” I say, “You’re the parent. You’re the model. You’re the teacher. Be the parent who models a better way to act. Model your respectful behavior. You’ll be building character too.”

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS invites you to pick up 80 Fun Activities to Share with Your Kids when you subscribe to her Parenting Newsletter at

Want more help dealing with disrespectful kids? Pick up Jean’s Parenting Skills Kit at Learn the skills you need and raise respectful children.